Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Creature from the Black Lagoon by Carl Dreadstone (1977): Can't Figure Out Your Watery Love

Writing under the unparalleled horror-fiction pseudonym of "Carl Dreadstone," Ramsey Campbell produced a series of novelizations of the classic Universal monster movies. They've long been collectors' items going for quite a few bucks despite being thin mass-market paperbacks from Berkley Medallion. But one day a month or so ago, browsing one of my usual used bookstore haunts, I happened upon Creature from the Black Lagoon... and paid an entire dollar for it!

Campbell writes, under his own name, a nice little intro to the novelization about the making of the 1954 film and its various subtexts - sexual, political, evolutionary - as well as the Creature's place in the pantheon of vintage monster gods. Loaded with b/w movie stills (oh, Julie Adams!), Carl Dreadstone's Creature from the Black Lagoon is another cool collectible coup for Too Much Horror Fiction.

Julie Adams, I'm on a submarine mission for you baby

Update: According to ISFDB, Campbell didn't actually write Creature; somebody named Walter Harris did. Ah well. Campbell did write at least 3 others in the series. Guess I shoulda checked this out first.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Question: If you were looking for similar books in the genre, what would you suggest as a definitive collectors' guide? Or how about a not-so-definitive collectors' guide? Does such a thing even exist?-JB

Will Errickson said...

Good question but I have to say - I'm pretty much winging this mother. I just go by how books are priced on eBay, Amazon, and the AbeBooks sites.

Jenn said...

Wow, this is really cool. In all my CREATURE collecting, this would be a really cool addition. Thanks for blogging about it :)

Mac Campbell said...

Anonymous - I think this blog is a collectors' guide.

Luis said...

I would LOVE to have this book! I have a fondness for movie tie-ins and this one would be a welcome addition to my collection, plus any book with photos of Julie Adams is a keeper.

Anonymous said...

I own a copy but haven't read it -- I've heard that it's pretty awful, takes great liberties with the source material. But yeah, totally worth owning from a collectible standpoint (and for a measly buck?!) -- and the photos are definitely nice.

I HAVE read Campbell's "Bride" adaptation, remember it being pretty good.

Will Errickson said...

Mac, you're too kind - thanks!